What You Need To Know About The Tattoo Sterilizer
by: dewi susanti
The tattoo sterilizer is a key component in avoiding cross-contamination and infection, especially while using piercing needles or tattooing needles. Such needles penetrate the skin and come into contact with the bloodstream, which can easily pass on highly infectious diseases from one client to another.
Why Sterilization Is Necessary
Every time a tattoo machine injects ink into the human skin, it creates a puncture wound. Such puncture wounds have a very high potential for disease transmission and infection. Therefore, all tattoo artists must always pay keen attention to safety measures. Various methods that can be used to ensure such safety for both clients and tattoo artists include sterilization (using a tattoo sterilizer), use of disposable materials as well as hand sanitation.
An efficient method of eliminating the risk of cross-contamination involves single-use items such as needles, inks, gloves, and ink cups. Such items are contained in sterile packaging that is only opened at the time of use. After use, the item is disposed off. However, not all items are single-use. Various types of reusable items include needle bars and tubes. In this case, the reusable items would require regular sterilization using a tattoo sterilizer.
An autoclave, generally used in hospitals, is the ideal equipment for use in sterilization procedures. The combined steam, heat and pressure environment within an autoclave has the capacity to effectively destroy harmful microorganisms.
Generally, tattoo items can be sterilized in an autoclave within a 55-minute cycle. This process uses a combination of varying pressure and temperature values. Usually, higher temperature and pressure combinations require less time for complete sterilization. Two common combinations include:
- 250oF (121oC) – temperature/ 10 pounds – pressure/ 30 minutes – time.
- 2700 F (1320 C) – temperature/ 15 pounds – pressure/ 15 minutes – time.
The Process Of Using A Tattoo Sterilizer
Before commencing on sterilization, all items must first be cleaned. In case unclean tools are placed within the autoclave, they would not sterilize effectively.
Cleaning of tools may be done using an ultrasonic with the appropriate cleaning tablets. Make sure to scrub the tools at least once while in the ultra sonic cycle. After this, the items should be removed using gloved hands before patting them dry. The tools that are cleaned in this manner are still not completely free of contaminants; therefore, they should be placed on a surface that can be sterilized, such as a “dirty” stainless tray.
Following the pre-cleaning, all tools should be properly bagged before placing them in a tattoo sterilizer. This packaging uses a special pouch that has an indicator strip which changes color at the time the tools inside have become sterile. During sterilization, make sure that the autoclave reaches and maintains the required pressure and heat combination.
Long term use of an autoclave would require proper use and maintenance procedures. This includes a schedule of spore testing that ensures the equipment is continuously functional. There should also be weekly and monthly cleaning and checking procedures to keep it in good working condition.
Comparison With Boiling And Other Methods
An important factor in the sterilization process is packaging of all items. This is key to avoiding re-contamination once the items are removed from the tattoo sterilizer. Since, many contaminants can be found in the air, a sterilized item is prone to contamination if left uncovered. Packaging gives autoclave sterilization a greater advantage compared to boiling, whereby the items are not covered at all.
Sterilization is the best option for complete elimination of all microorganisms. On the other hand, sanitation or disinfection can only achieve partial and selective elimination of harmful microorganisms. Hence, sanitation and disinfection may give acceptable levels of targeted elimination of harmful microorganisms, but not complete sterilization, which can only be achieved using a tattoo sterilizer.
Using boiling water as an alternative to sterilization, even with pressure cookers, cannot fully achieve the effectiveness of an autoclave. The regulated pressure and temperature combination in an autoclave enables much higher temperatures than can be achieved through boiling. Therefore, only an autoclave can fully eliminate pathogens, denature (melt) viral agents and burn off residual chemical traces.
A Tattoo autoclave is also a much better alternative to chemiclaves. This is because chemical steam often pours from chemiclaves during the process of retrieving treated tools. Such steam is highly poisonous, which would require even more care or extra ventilation to avoid disasters.